Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Labeling Your Quilts: Part 2 of 2 (or It's Not Done Until It Has a Label)

I pieced a 'mini' of the flower for this label
Now it's time to make sure YOUR creations are
not anonymous.The days of thinking of these textiles as just 'women's work' or 'just a quilt' are over. My work, and yours, is worthy of identification. If you aren't sure, just trust me on this! Your label will add to the knowledge about quilts and their history down the road and you can rightfully take pride in what you have made.

The EZ method shown in the previous post can certainly be used on any quilt, vintage or new, and that may be adequate but now you will be able to include more information since YOU are the maker. In the case of a quilt you have made as a gift you may want to personalize it even more. The possibilities are endless. You can make a label that relates to the quilt itself, do a simple frame in coordinating fabric, write directly on the backing and more.

A simple frame 
These examples span the years of my quiltmaking. At one time I did print labels on muslin on my computer but they are not permanent unless treated or traced over. I chose a simple font and used a pigma fine point marker to go over the letters (tedious) and then press to set in these examples.

Personalized and 'signed'

Commercially printed labels come in yardage in all varieties. When I see something I like I buy it and try to remember that I have it (and where it is!)
I prefer to use my own handwriting these days. It's more personal. I so enjoy recipes my mother wrote in her own hand!
Commercial label from yardage

Embroidery adds a nice touch to the front of this quilt
and takes the place of a label on the back
For new quilts I sometimes write directly on the backing fabric. Do not do this on a vintage quilt.

Here's another idea. Piece a diagonal strip right onto the backing before you layer and quilt. You need to take care to see that it will fall in the corner the way you want it to but it makes a nice neat finish and is not removable!

I consider my choices for each new quilt and am always eager to learn of new ideas for labels. Do be sure that whatever style you choose, whether elaborate or simple, that you include at least the minimum basic information:
  • YOUR NAME (I include my maiden name lately)
  • WHERE YOU LIVE - city and state - many people forget to add this
  • DATE FINISHED - it may be a range of years from start to finish.
  • QUILTER'S NAME AND LOCATION -if not done by you

Now, can you match the label to the quilt?


  1. I admire fancy labels, but by the time it comes to put the label on, I am through fussing. I go with the simple square folded into triangle and stitched in with the binding. At least it gets done! : )
    I have been trying to get my Mom to label the quilts she has made over the years. It is not an easy sell. I'd like them in her handwriting, if possible, but if she continues to avoid it, I will have to do something myself.

    1. That's a good idea, Janet. I will try the triangle! I've used that in the top two corners where you put a dowel or wooden stick across it to hang the quilt but never have tucked a triangle into the corner as a label. Thanks! (Maybe you could make a bunch of the EZ labels from my first post and give them to your Mom with a pigma pen )

  2. What a beautiful quilt show you have here...and such great advice about labeling!!

  3. I especially love that idea of piecing the diagonal strip into the backing and then labeling. Permanent, easy (as long as backing lines up correctly), and looks very professional. I have labeled the quilts made for the grandkids but don't have labels on anything we still have at home. Maybe next winter when it's snowing and too cold to go outside.

    1. I like that pieced strip method, too - I need to do it more often! I don't want to think about winter - we finally have summer in MN!

  4. Several years ago at a quilt exhibit, it was suggested that quilt makers should put their signature on the front of their quilts. Just as artist sign their works of art. Not sure I feel that bold on most of my quilts. I have been documenting my quilts for entry on the Quilt Index, labeling has become somewhat of an issue. Mainly the ones I did not label 20 years ago. Now trying to catch up, not easy.


Thanks for adding your comments!